Nobu Su appeals Vantage confirmation

TMT chairman challenges pre-packaged bankruptcy plan for drilling contractor.

Nobu Su has appealed the confirmation of Vantage Drilling’s pre-packaged bankruptcy plan.

Lawyers for the shipowner, who is chairman of Taiwan’s Today Makes Tomorrow (TMT), filed papers in the US District Court in Delaware challenging the 15 January decision by US Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon.

The attorneys also filed a separate case appealing Shannon’s decision that Su and F3 Capital, the company through which he became Vantage Drilling’s largest shareholder, did not have standing to object to the bankruptcy plan.

Debt slashed

Vantage, which has been battling with Su for years over rigs and drillships that he sold to the drilling contractor in deals that gave him his wiped-out equity stake in the company, filed for bankruptcy in early December with a pre-packaged plan that slashed debt from $2.6bn to $1bn.

The plan calls for restructuring of Offshore Group Investment Ltd (OGIL) through a debt-for-equity swap and a winding down of the Vantage Drilling parent company in separate court proceedings in the Cayman Islands.

Su’s lawyers have not yet filed papers explaining the reasons for challenging the confirmation, but they previously objected to the Houston drilling rig owner’s bankruptcy complaining that it was pushed through on a “rocket docket”.

Management ‘favoured’

“The debtors attempt to favour current management and favoured creditors to the detriment of parties like Mr Su, F3 Capital and the public shareholders and creditors of Vantage Drilling Company by taking actions to divest Vantage Drilling Company of assets without complying with Cayman law,” wrote the Taiwan shipowner’s lawyers at Delaware firm Monzack, Mersky, Mclauchlin and Browder, and Houston-based Hoover Slovacek.

Vantage’s lawyers at Richards, Layton & Finger and Weil, Gotshal & Manges argued that Su did not have legal standing to challenge the bankruptcy and that any delay would have put the prepackaged plan in peril.